December 4th, 2023

The Joy Of Being More Than You Were Yesterday.

This month has many of us focused on giving and receiving. But for many it’s also a time for taking stock and becoming a better version of ourselves.

Personal Development is the choice to focus on ways to better understand ourselves, improve ourselves and reach our full potential. Some claim it to be one of the most empowering forms of self-care you could undertake. A gift to yourself that not only makes you more effective at dealing with all the stresses and demands in your life but also enables you to communicate better, feel more resilient and at peace regardless of what is going on in your life.

With increased self-awareness you gain power and feel confident to deliberately drive your life in the direction that will fulfil you most – rather than merely reacting to changing events and external influences. You enjoy your work more and you might be surprised to find your relationships improving, too. In fact, personal development can make us a better (grand)parent, spouse/partner, employee or business owner inspiring and lifting up those around us, too. It’s a gift to self and those around us.

So why then do we rarely make it a priority, putting ourselves last only to see our batteries run close to empty while becoming irritable or grumpy – a worse not better version of ourselves?

Personal Development seems such as vast field that many don’t know where to start. Others lack time or rather have not made it a priority yet. They are unsure what to say ‘NO’ to in their busy life in order to make a little room for self-development. Both are good reasons and yet weirdly only demonstrate the importance of deeper self-knowledge even more.

Self awareness has been shown to be the foundation of the valued skill of Emotional Intelligence that is so important for building harmonious relationships. Harvard professor Robert Keegan reminds us that we are far from finished products when we are adults. His research revealed 3 adult development phases. Unaware of this, sadly, most people never grow beyond the first.

The good news is you don’t need not much time (or money) at all to begin to benefit. On the most basic level anybody can integrate a regular habit of personal development to develop and grow themselves. All it takes is to consciously choose to make personal development a priority.  The joy of seeing yourself develop and grow into and better version of yourself will keep you going once you started.

What’s the best way to get started?

A. Start a Reflective Practice and collect your insights in a reflective journal. At the end of each week ask yourself 3 questions and capture the answers in your reflective journal.

  1. What went well last week, and what did I learn about myself in the process?
  2. What did not go so well, and what am I learning about myself in relation to it?
  3. What key area would I like to improve or focus on next week?

Result: Increased self-awareness and the start of a perpetual learning cycle.
Time requirement: 30 min a week.

B. Start a Morning Gratefulness Ritual. For 5 min after waking up remember everything you are grateful for and notice how that makes you feel. Beyond greater self-awareness, Martin Seligman, founder of positive psychology and professor at the University of Pennsylvania proved scientifically that regular gratefulness improves overall life satisfaction and happiness.

Result: Increased calm and peace of mind, understanding of what you value, life satisfaction.
Time requirement: 35 min a week.

C. Choose the Opportunity Lens when going through your day. Look for opportunities in everything, especially the set-backs and uncomfortable situations. Whatever happens, ask yourself ‘What might be the opportunity for me hidden in this event, situation or experience?’. If you look hard enough you will get an answer. During a busy and sometimes frantic pre-Christmas time, this might be an especially usual practice to start immediately.

Result: More positive thoughts and emotions, more options and possibilities, better understanding of self in context.
Time requirement: 30-45 min per week.

Join my ‘MOT’-style Life Assessment 1/2 day Online Workshop

Of course, you can also get to deeper results and faster progress by joining a personal development course/group or working with a life coach. This could help you identify the areas that most need your attention to make the biggest difference in your life while supporting you through the temporary discomfort of expanding your comfort zone. If you enjoy working with other like-minded souls while being guided by a certified life coach you could join my ‘MOT’-style Life Assessment workshop which I am running a few times a year on Zoom. Participants have fun exploring a variety of insightful diagnostic life assessment tools together and walk away with their individual score-cards indicating their priority areas as well specific action steps tailored to their needs. Check my events page or email me for more info if you want to join us.

So this December, why not invest in yourself as well as everyone else’s happiness and take a first step with one of the ideas above?  Give yourself the gift of personal development this Christmas and make a commitment to growing yourself in 2024. And if you don’t think you can do it alone, I would love to support you on your journey.

Yesterday I was clever so I wanted to change the world, today I am wise, so I am changing myself.
– Rumi

Wishing you a wonderful festive time and a brilliant start into a happy new You!


Silke Rehman (MBA, MSc, CPCC)
Personal Leadership Coach & Life Adventurer, Email: